It was at all times going to be arduous for Arsenal to switch Arsene Wenger – their biggest ever supervisor – and Emirates bosses are nonetheless figuring out the kinks.
Unai Emery got here first and now the membership’s former captain, Mikel Arteta, is making an attempt to get them again into the Premier League’s prime 4.
But it surely may all have been so completely different for Arsenal.
On Sunday afternoon as they tackle Leicester – reside on talkSPORT – the Gunners’ hierarchy, whereas retaining religion of their present boss, will little question surprise what may need been had they made one other selection in 2018.
Selecting somebody to observe Wenger was a troublesome course of, and so they wished somebody of pedigree.
Brendan Rodgers, the person they arrive up in opposition to in the present day, was certainly one of early favourites to succeed Wenger on the Emirates.
Rodgers had rebult and enhanced his popularity as one of many brightest coaches within the sport.
Having been sacked by Liverpool in 2015, regardless of a Premier League title tilt in 2013/14, he was appointed boss of the Scottish giants in 2016 and led them to back-to-back home trebles.
There was a lot discuss he was wished by Arsenal however in accordance The Athletic, he by no means even reached the interview stage.
There have been stated to be doubts about his character and stature.
In the long run, simply 9 months later, he was appointed as the person to switch Claude Puel as Leicester City supervisor.
Leicester had been Premier League champions in 2016 however they adopted it with 12th and ninth place finishes, whereas Rodgers steered the facet to a different ninth place end on arrival.
His first full season, 2019/20, showcased precisely why he’d obtained the Liverpool job within the first place, and why Arsenal had at the very least expressed curiosity.
By December 8, 2019, their 16th match of the marketing campaign, the Foxes have been second within the Premier League desk – the Gunners have been ninth and searching for a alternative for the just lately departed Emery.
They thought-about Rodgers once more however have been informed he was glad the place he was, loving life with Leicester. And he was adamant about his job with the Foxes too.
He stated: “In 30 years’ time, it is a crew that may very well be remembered for the extent of soccer and the way aggressive they’re.
“That will be the last word for me. I’m committing my work and life to right here to provide it the whole lot.
“You need your legacy to be what the supporters see on the sector, but in addition the sensation that they’ve watching the crew.
“I’ve met supporters who’ve been watching the membership for 60-odd years. They’re so inspiring speaking about this being the very best soccer they’ve seen of a Leicester City crew and so they’ve not missed a sport for years.
“That at all times drives you on and provides you additional motivation that they’re having fun with what they’re seeing. It’s my duty to attempt to make sure they really feel that happiness.
“I’ve obtained an actual motivation.”
They might have crashed out of the Europa League in midweek, however he has them degree with second-place Manchester United within the Premier League.
The Foxes look effectively set for a Champions League whereas Arsenal are an enormous 15 factors behind, as they sit 11th forward of their go to to the King Energy.
Rodgers has additionally been a bogeyman for the Gunners since returning to the Premier League.
He’s performed them 4 instances within the league and is unbeaten with three wins and a draw, though he did lose to them within the Carabao Cup third spherical this 12 months.
He’s incomes reward from all quarters too. James Maddison is among the males starring and bettering underneath his tutelage and he was effusive about Rodgers in a latest interview.
He informed talkSPORT: “He’s a prime degree supervisor that we’re actually lucky to have right here. The element and the keenness and the love he has for the sport and what he does in coaching each single day is second to none.
“Each single participant within the altering room is changing into a greater participant underneath him. That’s a truth. I’ve seen it in my very own sport, I’ve seen it in different gamers’ video games simply because I at all times say he cares.
“He cares about making you a greater participant, he’s not simply somebody who desires to get three factors on the weekend for his CV, he really desires to enhance the crew and enhance the gamers.
“When you could have a supervisor that’s prepared to try this and transcend to make you a greater participant is a superb factor and one thing we now have to be actually appreciative of.”
Earlier within the present marketing campaign, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher was heaping reward on him, insisting he has the potential be a Chelsea or Arsenal supervisor sooner or later.
“Brendan Rodgers is the very best British coach on the market, little question,” he stated.
“Possibly you could possibly argue that the Liverpool job got here too early however I believe he did a very good job, coming nearer than any supervisor to profitable the League in 30 years.
“He’s a unbelievable coach, he’s achieved a fantastic job at Leicester and I believe his subsequent job may very well be a Chelsea or an Arsenal.
“Possibly it will be troublesome to return to Liverpool or to educate Manchester United, given the Liverpool connection, however I believe he’ll be up for the highest jobs on this nation, possibly England too.”
He’s even been in comparison with Man City head coach Pep Guardiola in latest months on talkSPORT, with Trevor Sinclair impressed by the best way Rodgers conducts himself.
It’s no shock given Leicester, underneath Rodgers, have been the primary crew to ever rating 5 objectives in opposition to a facet managed by the Spaniard.
“For those who take a look at, say Pep, I don’t assume he’s gone in at Manchester City saying ‘that is what we do’,” he stated.
“He’s earned that respect, he’s obtained to know everybody’s identify, he’s been well mannered, he’s achieved issues accurately that you simply’re purported to do once you lead a gaggle of individuals.
“That’s what he’s achieved at Manchester City and that’s what Brendan’s achieved right here [at Leicester]. He has obtained a historical past of success now – at Celtic, at Liverpool, at Swansea.
“He may simply get lazy however that’s his make-up, that’s his DNA that he goes in and places the arduous yards in to earn the respect of the gamers and when you’ve obtained the respect of the gamers they’ll be just right for you a bit extra.”
Arteta has proven some promise at Arsenal, profitable the FA Cup final season and the 2020 Group Defend, however poor Premier League type is a giant blot on the copy e book.
In the meantime, the one ink Rodgers has spilled is penning a brand new contract – till 2025 simply months after being appointed – a sign of how a lot he’s beloved at his present membership and admired from afar.
Leicester aren’t going to relinquish him any time quickly and Arsenal might effectively remorse their determination to miss him.
You possibly can take heed to Leicester vs Arsenal at 12pm on Sunday – reside and unique on talkSPORT